Arthur Schwartz, in his initial film producer spot after years of experience with stage musicals, deftly injects surefire showmanship into the picture, neatly blending the talents of the players with an inspired script by Virginia Van Upp [story by Erwin Gelsey, adaptation by Marion Parsonnet and Paul Gangelin], fine and consistently-paced direction by Charles Vidor, and taking full advantage of the technical contributions.
Plot is neatly concocted to get over idea of sudden rise to theatrical fame of Rita Hayworth as result of winning a Cover Girl contest. Gene Kelly, operating the modest Brooklyn nightspot where he stages the floorshows, is in love with Hayworth, a dancer. Latter wins the contest to give the room immediate fame with the upper-crust customers from Manhattan.
Otto Kruger, responsible for her prominence, figures she should be lifted out of the lowly nightspot to a Broadway show. Result is break between the girl and Kelly when latter stubbornly blows off steam.
Dance sequences spotlighting the terping abilities of Hayworth and Kelly are expertly staged. Kelly devised his own routines for the picture. Score by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin, comprising seven tunes, is of high caliber.
1944: Best Score for a Musical Picture.
Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, Song (‘Long Ago and Far Away’), Sound